And when the Annie Oakley of Argentina is among those vying for the priceless booty still lost in the icy-depths of the glacier-filled lake, you better have your best zigging and zagging mojo working for you when you’re scrambling about on a nearby mountain!
But that isn’t anything compared to the zigging and zagging you’ve got to do in the bedroom since when you’re not in Buenos Aires poking the local real estate agent to get the goods on the old villa that might house clues to the treasure, you’re extending your landing gear into some hussy pilot so that you can use her plane to try and spot the treasure in the lake from the air!
Obviously this is a job too big and randy for a B-lister like James Bond! It’s time to call in the varsity! The cold weather demands thick, yak-like hair! The glare of the ice packs necessitates sunglasses one third the size of a man’s head! The audience thunders for a man who tested his mettle in the wilds of Africa against Richard Hatch! And lost!
Clean your jeans, ladies! (And some of you dudes, too!) Like Moses returning from the desert to lay a superpowered monotheistic slap down on Pharaoh, Daniel Greene avenges all the bad deeds he did in Beyond Kilimanjaro, Across the River of Blood and reminds us why we fell in love with him when he punched Ernest Borgnine in his big fat stomach in The Opponent!
As photographer Mark Lester, Greene snaps his way to glory, haunted all the while by having committed the most terrible sin any guy who takes pictures could ever do!
He set up a fake photo shoot that purported to show some villagers being executed! And it caused the death of twenty marines! How? Who the hell knows!
The horror of it all (not the bit with the marines – that’s only mentioned in passing) was brought painfully home to the audience in a flashback when we see Mark setting up the bogus pictures while – gasp! – wearing a headband!
Was it silly enough looking though to cause the deaths of twenty marines? In the fog of war, who can really say?
After his newspaper editor (played by Charles Napier who literally phones in his performance most of the time) uses Mark’s past misdeeds and fashion faux-pas to spike his story about a senator having an affair, Mark is too busy getting laid, having shootouts, car chases, and being double-crossed to dwell on the past.
While getting wasted at a bar, he sees a newspaper article about a piece of plane located down in Argentina that belonged to Xio Ling, the ex-governor of Peking who fled communist China with all kinds of loot.
Pretending to do a story about condors for Napier (Mean Tricks), Mark treks off to Argentina where he hooks up with an old buddy to go treasure hunting!
In another one of those inspired casting choices that make you glad the same eight guys worked in all these late 1980s Italian trash movies, Mark’s best friend turns out to be Brent Huff!
Huff (Strike Commando 2) rolls into Condor in full blown acting mode as he is affecting a limp and wearing nerd glasses!
He’s a gimp because he took a bullet for Mark in Beirut! But he’s cool with that. No, really, he is. He doesn’t mind at all that Mark is always pumping babes who don’t mind appearing topless in movies, but he can’t even climb down a ladder!
It’s not suspicious at all that he stays behind in Buenos Aires because his leg can’t handle any more Indiana Jones-style adventure.
Okay, it’s a whole lot suspicious, mainly because there is no Indiana Jones-style adventure!
What there is though is plenty of Daniel Greene-style adventure! Like when he buys an old book on glacier drift! Or when he’s shooting pictures of an over-the-hill skank dancing at his hotel! Or when he keeps mentioning his pet dog Shadow whenever Napier calls to check on his progress.
Despite Mark missing a lot of wacky opportunities by not taking his dog with him (he did try to escape some guys that broke into his apartment by announcing that he had to leave because he forgot to take his dog for a piss), Mark routinely makes up for it on his own by uttering bits of dialogue that couldn’t be any funnier than if Shadow said them himself!
In an effort to unravel things, he deduces that Xio Ling’s manservant was gay because of the way he walked and that he must have been left at Ling’s villa because they were gay lovers!
And proving that he keeps up on obscure sporting events as well as unfortunate stereotypes, when he meets a woman at his hotel, he says he knows that she is the target shooting champion because he saw her on TV! Only a guy with so little aptitude for acting could say something so dumb and be so convincing!
Sergio Martino (American Rickshaw), despite saddling the audience with an adventure plot that features the bare minimum of action allowed by international law (a jeep explodes, a dummy goes over a waterfall, there’s a few car chases and fight scenes) enhances the always dependably forgettable Daniel Greene’s presence with interesting Argentine locations. (Lakes filled with glaciers are something entirely new to the genre.)
And when a fat guy is greasing himself up with whale blubber in preparation for diving after the treasure in a freezing lake, I challenge you to think of another Italian movie where you’ve seen that before!
And then, when Mark helpfully informs his girlfriend that the whale blubber is mixed with herbs and spices like he was working the counter at the Tierra del Fuego KFC, I challenge you to think of a moment that better encapsulates the Daniel Greene/Sergio Martino tag team experience! This Condor is totally finger licking good, amgio!
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